Knowledge and creativity are the dynamic duo of entrepreneurship. Armed with these two, small business owners deal with challenges and carve out new opportunities.
Sometimes we address challenges by using what we’ve learned, and then move on to the next one. That’s the beauty of knowledge; it’s always loaded up, ready to fire. It’s also useful because we can share it by teaching others, which allows us to delegate, thereby leveraging ourselves.
But entrepreneurship based solely on knowledge is mono-faceted and most small business challenges require multi-faceted approaches, which only occurs when knowledge is blended with creativity. Knowledge is critical to success in any endeavor, but in the world of entrepreneurs, creativity must flourish.
The French novelist, Marcel Ayme, once said, “…from time-to-time, I find myself terribly limited by the words in the dictionary.”
As a man of words, the dictionary held his knowledge, his tools and his inventory. But sometimes, as he lamented, it also held back his creativity. I think Ayme was also telling us about his spirit. What else would cause him to imagine and yearn for something beyond what he knew to exist?
Entrepreneurs have Ayme’s kind of spirit. As founders of business opportunities that haven’t previously existed, our spirit drives us into uncharted territory. But we’re more fortunate than Ayme: We aren’t limited by a “dictionary”, only by our creativity. If you’re feeling “terribly limited” by your entrepreneurial dictionary, perhaps you’ve been focusing too much on knowledge and not enough on creativity.
Entrepreneurs use knowledge to identify and employ the “words” that are available to them. But rather than lamenting the ones they don’t have, they use creativity to make the new ones they need. It’s a beautiful thing.